Turning ideas into business: is it always ‘fool’ proof?


The origin of April Fools’ Day is actually varied and complicated, and we may not put a lot of thought behind it. It’s a day that is involved with ‘pranks’. But its history highlights centuries of April Fools’ pranks, from family to office pranks; and it all about cracking April Fools’ jokes at everyone’s expense. Why do we collectively try to pull a fast one on this day? ‘Fools’ are indeed ‘full’ of fun!!

Without a doubt, there’s no question that April Fools’ Day is one of the most widely recognized non-religious holidays in the Western world. Everyone pranks everyone – children prank parents, colleagues prank co-workers, and evenmedia pranks their readers. But why? What is the origin of April Fools’ Day, and how did it become an international phenomenon?

April Fools’ Day is apparently an ancient enough tradition. One likely forerunner to the origin of April Fools’ Day is the Roman tradition of Hilaria – a spring festival held around 25 March – in honour of the “first day of the year longer than the night” (the vernal equinox, which typically falls on March 20). Festivities included a range of action – games, processions and masquerades, during which disguised commoners could imitate nobility too.

It’s difficult to say whether this ancient revelry’s similarities to modern April Fools’ Day are legit or coincidence, for we notice that the first recorded mentions of the holiday appeared many hundred years later.

Is April Fools’ Day celebrated worldwide?

In fact, April Fools’ Day is technically considered a national holiday today. Many countries also, have adopted the idea of playing pranks on or around April 1. For instance, France celebrates April Fools’ Day on April 1 by sticking a paper fish onto the backs of people, while yelling “Poisson d’Avril!” (something that children indulge in, more than adults). On the other hand, in Greece, successfully tricking someone on this day is said to bring good luck to the prankster (for the entire year). In some parts of the country, rainfall on April 1 is said to have healing qualities. But, no country celebrates April Fools’ Day quite like US, for they have devised their own methods of tricking people.

April Fool’s Day, also known as All Fool’s Day is celebrated on April 1 every year but while pranking people is at an all-time high this time of the year, it is important to remember to keep pranks all ‘fun’, harmless and in good taste.

What are 4Fs in entrepreneurship?

The activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit can be a definition of ‘entrepreneurship. Today, new business opportunities have encouraged entrepreneurship on a grand scale too, on a positive note. Essentially, entrepreneurship is the process of developing, organizing, and running a new business to generate profit while taking on financial risk.

If you look at what are 4Fs in entrepreneurship? Interestingly, entrepreneurship involves many Fs–funds, friends, family& ‘fools’. While looking at ‘funds’, which is critical for any new business, these are people who usually fund early startups. And why ‘fools’? After all, who in their right mind would invest money in a company or product that has not proved itself in an unsubstantiated market, often with an inexperienced person steering the ship?

Studies reveal that each year between 35-40% of startup ventures receive capital from friends and family. This group is commonly called friends, family& fools.

‘Fool’ is not always negative. Contemplating ancient Greek tragedy, the ‘fool’ character functions much as a Chorus – often commenting upon events and the king’s actions and acting, in some ways, as the king’s ‘conscience’. The Fool is the king’s advocate, loyal and honest, but he is also able to point out the king’s faults, as no one else can!!

So, is it always ‘fool’proof – to enter into entrepreneurship? It is really being recklessly or thoughtlessly bold, with a planned goal in mind.

Being an entrepreneur is more than being a business owner. It’s actually a perspective and a lifestyle. For it can be so challenging to launch a business that it may make you even wonder – why is anyone willingly setting out on such a path?

Many of the biggest businesses had very humble beginnings, which slowly & steadily evolved into highly successful enterprises over time. It’s not all about being a ‘fool’ if you step out. But, don’t be afraid to do that and also, if required, to change your original idea to fit shifts in your market too.

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